Popular dog breeds in Australia

Popular Dog Breeds in Australia

April 23, 2015

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The most popular dog breeds in Australia are all quality breeds and are great dogs for almost anyone to own. Ranging from small to large, including some native breeds as well. Here is a list of some of the most popular dog breeds in Australia.

Small to medium popular dog breeds in Australia

These popular dog breeds in Australia include Jack Russell Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Pugs.

Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell TerrierThe Jack Russell Terrier is lively, enthusiastic, fun loving and eager to please. They will thrive if exercised daily and included as part of the family. They are ideal dogs for active people who enjoy spending time with, exercising and training their dogs. The JRT is a great family companion but is not suitable for children under five. The breed is great for older children as it’s always on the go.

They love running, playing fetch, agility, obedience, racing and hunting mice in the backyard. They love to play and their little legs will keep up with the best of you! Even though they’re a friendly breed, they are a good watchdog and will bark at unfamiliar sounds or people entering your property.

They need a backyard with a secure fence, as this breed tends to roam. If they get bored they will dig and become destructive. Provide plenty of toys and a safe digging area, such as a sandpit.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

King Charles SpanielCavalier King Charles Spaniels are very friendly dogs that are affectionate and always willing to please. With a happy disposition, similar to many of the Spaniel breeds, the Cavalier loves to be included as one of the family. Happy to lie at home or easily pleased with a run at the park, these friendly dogs are more interested in being with their owners than anything else. They live for cuddles and are sweet in nature. Typically, the Cavalier lives without fear, is gentle and above all, affectionate.

Being a toy dog, the Cavalier doesn’t require as much exercise as larger Spaniels, but it can be a very active dog, depending on the owner. They are happy to accompany you on a walk and love to play in the backyard. Despite their petite size, they still need a good-sized yard and regular walks to keep them stimulated. For owners interested in training activities, Cavaliers successfully compete in obedience and agility, and have achieved titles in both of these areas.

They are perfect for a family or for someone who is looking for a companion. Whichever the case, prospective owners must know they are buying a dog that expects their love and attention. A pleasure to own, the Cavalier is a great asset to any home, although, being an indoor dog, you must be willing to share the inside of your house. Some Cavaliers may have an ideal temperament for showing, while others can have too much of a personality to behave at all times in the ring.


PugsPugs are stocky little clowns that are sturdy enough for some serious play, yet small and adorable. The Pug is also very loyal, happy go lucky, and loving. There is no mystery to why anyone would love such great breeds, as they are made of heart-melting goodness with great temperament and inquisitive nature.

Pugs are great for singles or family environments that are looking for a charismatic companion. Pugs are best suited to people who have a lot of time and love to give as the breed thrives on human affection. They are tolerant and gentle with children, but like all breeds they should be supervised when interacting with any little ones.

Getting their paws into anything you are doing! These little shadows will take great delight in following you around the home and helping with the housework, but they also love to get out and meet new friends, both doggy and human. they make great watchdogs and will bark to let you know when visitors arrive but they are generally very friendly towards all humans, be they friend or foe.

Pugs need very little space and will happily live in an apartment as long as they get a walk each day. The do not like extreme heat or cold, and would prefer to live inside the home.

Larger popular dog breeds in Australia

For the larger breeds of dogs popular in Australia, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador, Poodle, The Golden Retriever, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Border Collies all make the list!

Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Staffordshire Bull TerriersWe start off with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, an incredible, smart, obedient dog that loves everyone, especially children, a great family dog. With such a long-winded title, it’s understandable why this rugged little breed gets Staffy for short. With a smile you could drive a truck through and a heart that craves human companionship, it’s no wonder the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is Australia’s number one canine pet. Its enthusiasm for life and its huge capacity for love make it a wonderful dog for the family; and its feverish need for fun helps it share a special bond with children.

Give a Stafford proper training, a good diet and a special place within the family and you couldn’t ask for a more trustworthy mate. Shower a Stafford with your affections and you’ll have a four-legged shadow, desperate to please you and always ready for a cuddle.


Golden Labrador RetrieverThis lovable pooch has to be one of the best feel-good dogs available. Warm, affectionate and loyal, the Lab adores people and needs to be taken in as one of the family. It will return any love given to it many times over.

The Lab is a late developer so it needs lots of exercise and stimulation to keep it happy. This breed is excellent at agility, obedience training but mostly loves being with its family. It will also appreciate a romp in water in warmer months.

The Lab is not a dog to be relegated to the yard and if left to its own devices, will become problematic. Make sure your Lab is stimulated and is able to spend lots of time with its pack. If you don’t have a large yard where your Lab can run and explore, you will need to give the dog more exercise than normal.

Although extremely friendly, the Labrador will bark if it sees a stranger approaching its property. The Lab can also be intimidating due to its large size.


PoodlesGood temperament. Extremely intelligent and likes to please owner so will quickly pick up commands. Needs challenges and gets bored easily if not given agility or obedience exercises. Poodles love human company. Great house dogs despite large size but need discipline and guidance. They love children and will romp and play very happily with them. Puppies do not mature until 18 months old.

A great dog for allergy sufferers and asthmatics who have trouble with dog hair because poodles do not drop hair and the mandatory grooming regime keeps dust and pollen out of their coats. The dog suits families, couples and singles. Suitable companion for all age groups if obedience trained but older people may prefer a trained, mature dog because it is less boisterous than a puppy.

Anything is possible with a poodle if you get it between eight and 12 weeks of age and start training it. They have many talents but on a light-hearted level, splashing around in the water is something these immaculately coiffed dogs are more than happy to do. This all goes back to their breeding gun dog and water retriever. If given the chance they love to herd or chase ducks; they also love to entertain and play with their humans.

Golden Retrievers

Golden RetrieverThis people-loving breed is easy to fall head-over-heels in love with due to its beautiful temperament and love without reservation loyalty. It is the perfect family pet and is full of

The Golden is perfect for almost any situation and will be the ideal pet for singles, families and especially children. Your pooch will remain happy, as long as it is taken in as a valued member of the family, but will become depressed if left to its own devices outside.

The Golden Retriever loves regular daily outings and enjoys obedience and agility exercises. This breed also adores swimming and still exhibits strong retriever instincts. Its most favoured activity, however, will be spending as much time as possible with its family.

While the Golden Retriever will bark and alert its family to strangers approaching the property, this is basically a people-loving breed and should not be acquired for guard-dog purposes. The closest it will come to protective behaviour is perhaps knocking someone around the face with a madly wagging tail!

German Shepherds

German ShepherdsThis dig is devoted and loyal to the core, the German Shepherd loves being part of the family and makes a wonderful companion.

If you love spending time with your dogs, and allow them inside the home as part of the family, then this breed is for you. The breed enjoys the company of children but like all breeds, they need to be supervised in the company of young children, especially considering their size.

The German Shepherd is great at many doggy sports and loves to have fun. Their favourite activity is spending time with their pack YOU! Whether that is lying in front of the TV, playing ball in the yard or running around the park. Whatever you are doing they want to do, too!

German Shepherds make great guard dogs and have been used by many security organisations for this very reason. Due to their natural guarding instincts they are often used to protect property. They will certainly alert you to strangers and protect their loved ones. They need regular mental and physical stimulation to stay happy. If left alone for long periods of time in a backyard they will become bored, destructive and noisy. Always leave plenty of dog-friendly chew toys or a large marrow bone at home when you are away. They will live quite happily in a small to medium sized yard as long as they received the correct daily exercise.


RottweilerThe Rottweiler is a large, active, agile, intelligent working dog, and needs plenty of room and plenty of exercise. It also is happiest if allowed to be part of the family. The need for early and serious socialisation and obedience training has already been mentioned, but is worth repeating. Routine coat care consists of regular brushing and the occasional bath.

This is most definitely a breed for the experienced dog owner, with a good working knowledge of obedience training and rearing a dominant breed. In the right hands, with plenty of space and exercise and a kind but firm upbringing, the Rottweiler is capable of becoming one of the very best family companions and guardians, in the wrong hands, or if neglected, the Rottweiler can become a serious problem.

This gorgeous breed has captured the hearts of millions across the world. With their big brown adorable eyes and cheeky smile it’s no wonder why!

Border Collies

border-collie320Border Collies are highly intelligent, learn quickly and thrive on activity and attention. Their working genes make them hardy and energetic, and they are always up for a game or two, or three! They may be standoffish with strangers but are affectionate, eager to please and loyal companions to those they love.

Border Collies are best suited to active adults, active families with older children, preferably school-aged kids, but families with younger children with other dog experience should also consider this breed. Only people who can give the Border Collie attention, exercise and mental stimulation should contemplate owning this breed, as bored Border Collies can be destructive in the suburban backyard with excessive barking, digging and escaping.

This athletic breed can’t get enough of fetch and chase activities, excelling in frisbee, lure coursing and tracking activities. Some are known to occasionally herd small animals, humans and moving objects.

The Border Collies alert nature is well suited to fulfilling watchdog duties. It will certainly let you know if there are people hanging around the peripheries of your property.

Popular Native Dogs in Australia

Australian KelpieAustralians are also fond of their own home grown breeds of course! Some favourite small breeds include, The Australian Silky Terrier, the Australian Terrier, and The Miniature Fox Terrier. The Australian Silky Terrier, an active, yet laid back dog, great for apartments. The Silky learns fast and loves to snuggle! The Australian terrier are best for one dog households, they are also fast learners, easily trained, alert dogs, that are very friendly and affectionate to people. The Miniature Fox Terrier is an adaptive, loyal, curious, energetic breed, who will sound the alarm and act like a ‘big dog’ to intruders or suspected danger, yet play gentle with children, a great family dog or elderly companion animal.

For the larger breeds, The Australian Cattle Dog, The Koolie, and The Australian Kelpie are popular breeds. The Australian Cattle Dog, and energetic, obedient, and independent breed, bred for herding, this working dog enjoys learning and working every day. The Koolie, is an enthusiastic working dog that is devoted, dedicate and even tempered. They are a great farm dog with a plethora of good qualities that are sought after. The Australian Kelpie is eager, energetic, alert, loyal, agile, and very intelligent, they make some of the best herding dogs, requiring little to no guidance. Australia has produced some incredible dog breeds that remain their favourites through the years. Solid breeds top the charts in popularity in the Down Under.

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